The Open Container Project, a fledgling standards body for Linux container formatting, has changed its name to the Open Container Initiative while also releasing drafts of its charter and technical specification.
The rebrand comes barely a month after Docker Inc. founder and CTO Solomon Hykes announced the group’s launch at DockerCon last month. Project leaders quickly realized that the OCP acronym was already taken, by the Open Compute Project.
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Despite the naming misstep, the re-christened OCI has added a gaggle of new members since DockerCon, including AT&T, Verizon, Oracle, and Twitter. Founding members of the project include Google, Amazon Web Services, and Docker Inc.
The membership rush speaks to the rapid rise in interest in containers, a lightweight alternative to virtual machines (VMs). The technology, pioneered by Google, allows applications to run as distributed sets of microservices directly on top of a Linux kernel, which proponents say consumes fewer resources and improves portability.
“A lot of innovation is happening right now in the world of containers,” says Patrick Chanezon, a technical staffer at Docker Inc., which launched OCI by signing over roughly 5 percent of its codebase to the Linux Foundation — a move that appears to have cemented victory for Docker’s approach over that of lesser-known competitors.
OCI is related to, but separate from, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, which launched yesterday to promote interoperability between container orchestration systems such as Google’s Kubernetes, Docker Swarm, Mesos, and others.
“I’ve never seen industry standards being elaborated so fast,” says Chanezon, a veteran of Google, VMware, and Sun Microsystems. “The approach we want is rough consensus and running code.”